A Holiday Tradition

For many families waking up early the day after Thanksgiving is a holiday tradition as they go out for the holiday season’s best deals. Thanks to changes in hours at retailers, though, many consumers can begin shopping at dinner time on Thanksgiving. Many large retailers such as JC Penny and Walmart debuted the new retail hours last year to much success, and this year the opening times are being pushed to as early as 5 pm Thursday. While many may recoil at the idea of spending a holiday in line outside Walmart, the strategy increased sales over previous years. Unsurprisingly, other retailers took note and also shifted their hours earlier,which is what we should expect based on our models of competition. Based on current trends, in the future one should expect to see Thanksgiving as the new “black friday.” This year 140 million consumers are expected to participate in Black Friday, and analysts are predicting the largest increases in sales growth since 2011.
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Despite their efforts to bring in consumers, retailers will see struggle to compete with e-commerce, which once again is forecasted to be the real winner this weekend. It’s difficult to persuade consumers to come in the door when they can purchase discounted items at the click of the mouse, and analysts from S&P Capital are predicting growth in sales of  9-10%. Last year Amazon won the title as the top seller and this year is likely to repeat this year, however its predicted revenue will do little to stop sinking investor confidence and a lack of profits. 

3 thoughts on “A Holiday Tradition

  1. Perhaps this strategic move was too far for many retailers; net sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday were down .5% this year relative to last year. With the economy in better standing, one might estimate at the very least an increase in sales. However, you were definitely right about one thing; online retailers did extraordinarily well, and Cyber Monday has yet to come. Online sales this year were up 9.5%. As an interesting side note, almost 30% of all online transactions were through smart phones and tablets. Statistics like this mark the end of the in store retail experience for me. Seems like it is time to stop incurring the extra costs of retailing stores.

  2. In recent years it seems that Black Friday has been taken over by Cyber Monday. With the increasing of online sales you wonder if Black Friday will continue to creep into the holidays. Will we see any sort of regulations to stop this from happening? Do you think that it is up to the government to put forth any of these regulations or should we allow the demand of people willing to shop on Thanksgiving to dictate the market?

  3. I agree that it appears Black Friday is slowly taking over Thanksgiving and that it’s possible retailers would make similar shopping specials on other holidays to combat e-commerce. While I find these trends disheartening, I feel that there is no grounds for the government to step in and regulate it. Everyone has the choice of how to spend their holiday, and if they choose to spend it in line outside Walmart it doesn’t really affect me. I do wonder how it affects the employees that are forced to work that day, but I suppose they must get time-and-a-half for pay.

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